The 800-lb gorilla in my marriage - not for children or the young


#1

For those of you that have read my threads my dh and I have been through some tough times as of late. We are getting back on track and we have gotten to the root cause of the problems. When he was around 4 he was molested by a babysitter (male). His parents went over and spoke to the babysitter’s parents who denied it and they never pressed charges or made a police report. While he did go to counseling as a kid he walked away feeling as if his parents didn’t protect him or stand by him. The type of counseling was good for the time but needed follow up that he never got.

Right before the wedding this year his cousin’s four year old was found to have been molested for two years by her boyfriend. He is now serving a 25 year sentence. This brought back many feelings for my dh which he repressed. Between those feelings that were brought back up, old feelings that were dealt with, and being in a safe and loving marriage his attitudes and behaivors changed very quickly and drastically. We are now in counseling and he is willing to open his eyes to the fact that he can’t do it on his own and must trust God for help. He is also willing to consider medicaiton for any issues as they come up. Before he would not even face this was still an issue.

I am honored to be this man’s wife as he show’s this strength and I am glad that he feels he can rely on me for support. While we both need counseling for some of the damage done to our relationship I know that he will need more to help him stand. I need prayers, support, and advice.


#2

Wow - I am so happy he is in counseling. The older I get and the more stories like this I hear, I see that sexual abuse is so much more common that any of us think.
I am so sorry that your husband had to endure that as a child. But praise God, he has a loving wife to carry him through his struggles.
Are you familiar with St. Dyphna? She is the patron Saint of sexual abuse victimes, may she pray for you and your husband.


#3

You both deserve recognition for working so hard and effectively on such a difficult issue in your marriage.
And prayers. :gopray2:


#4

Good day and GOD bless! I am so glad you both have taken the steps in seeking counseling…there is nothing better than getting started the right way! I know with your prayers GOD will hear you and will be there to guide and bless you both! Hang in there, you two are a wonderful blessing and never give up! I too would be super proud at my husband for being strong and seeking counseling!! :slight_smile: And great that you are there by his side!

You and your family are in our prayers! God bless…


#5

I think I can offer some help here.

I was molested by my father from the time I was a toddler (maybe 2 or younger) until I was 7 when my father realized that he could get caught and jailed (laws were changing) and people where beginning to notice my dysfunction at school, etc.

I didn’t get any help or support from my mother even when I tried to tell her and this had a huge impact on my self-esteem and ability to fight extreme feelings of anxiety and anger during simple day to day tasks.

I seeked help in my early 20’s and was in counselling for 3 years. When I felt better and able to cope on my own, I told my counsellor that I was ready to live my life and my counsellor said something to me that was very wise and true…

Survivors of molestation CAN learn to cope and function normally for the most part, but like losing your legs, you never are able to completely function normally as an adult. There will be times in a survivor’s life, where something will happen and BANG, you’re back to where you started. This is just the way it is for the duration of a survivor’s life. We have to learn that when the memories hit us again, we have to seek help all over again.

However, the good news is that each subsequent time the trauma re-surfaces, it gets easier to overcome the sadness, confusion and anger. Us survivors become stronger and more able to cope.

For myself, my trauma first resurfaced at age 36/37 when my baby daughter was approaching her first year and I knew I was going back to work full-time (therefore, unable to protect her 24/7). I would change her diaper, and she would have her feet in the air and I’d think, WHY would anyone hurt such an innocent beautiful child? I would cry and all the memories would come back. I felt the trauma all over again.

It is a challenge for your husband to learn to re-counsel himself when the memories come back. He needs to know that it’s completely normal for the trauma, sadness and anger to return throughout his life. It’s sad…really sad, but it’s normal.

You are a good wife! I admire you for wanting to be there for him. What he went through was traumatic and will be with him for the rest of his life, but he will get through it mainly because he has you. It’s a very heavy cross, but he can use this heavy cross to help other survivors. He can be there for this other 4 year old…take the child to concerts, baseball games and show the child what a real male role model is…a trustworthy and loving role model.

If he embraces this 4 year old, it will also help him deal with his inner 4 year old child that is still very much hurting.

Prayers to you both!


#6

I think one of the hardest parts for him is the lack of protection he got. Because of that he feels as if he can’t trust others. It has taken time for him to trust me and he has a real messed view on trust. But I love him.

Our relationship got abusive (physically) before he got the help but forgiveness is sometimes what marriage is about. Cycles need to stop somewhere.

God Bless


#7

wow…you’re a good wife! God bless you!

I too felt let down by my mother’s lack of protection and hence, I still have a tendency to isolate myself. I have a really hard time trusting and making friends. I’m getting better though.

As for your husband’s temper, have you made it clear to him that you will leave him if he does it again? Has he been made aware of the consequences? I haven’t been following your story, so I’m not sure of the previous details.

The suffering you both have endured! I really hope you both get through this. It sounds like your husband is finally facing his dark past head on. This is HUGE! He needs a loving person like you more than ever. You can show him that trust is possible.

You are an amazing woman!


#8

I told him that there were three conditions

  1. Going back to mass and getting God back in the marriage and in his life
  2. Going to both individual and couples counseling
  3. Cutting contact with this other couple who was very manipulative and did not support the marriage

I don’t think there is any question that I will not tolerate the behavior - the last time it happenned I made a police report and got a restraining order and systematically cut off all finances from him that were mine. We fought for about a week and then we made peace. I do love him and part of love is forgiveness. It is one of the main points I remember from pre-CANA.


#9

Please remember though that Jesus is giving your husband free will to pick up his cross and carry it. If your husband chooses to ruin his marriage, it’s not your fault. Your husband has you - a blessing in his life and he must appreciate and cherish it. If he doesn’t (meaning he ever hits you again), you do not have to put up with it.

It will take time for him to deal with his anger and he may lash out and hit a wall or throw a piece of furniture while he is healing, but please don’t ever let him hit you again. If he begins to show signs of being violent, calmly take your coat and go for a drive until he calms down. Take yourself out of the situation…give him a “time out” so to speak so he can think about his actions and then you guys can discuss what happened calmly.

My husband has never hit me, but he has a temper and when he goes off, I leave the room and give him a “time out”…it works well for us. In your case, you’d probably have to leave the house b/c he has displayed violence towards you in the past.


#10

That is one of the things we have discussed. Now we simply tell each other “Time Out” and walk away when we need it and come back when we are ready to talk. I am no angel either and sometimes I allow some his behaviors to get me angry. When I get angry and raise my voive it escalates very quickly and becomes no good for either one of us. So Time Out has worked well for us - taking a drive or calming down or going for a walk, whatever.


#11

I’m the same way…sometimes I lose it with my husband too and then it’s a very volatile argument. Unfortunately, it’s the woman usually that sets the example in anger management, so the onus is on us to control ourselves. We need to set the precedent for them and teach them how to treat us.

It’s the same with my 2 year old…when she’s getting upset, the worst thing I can do is display my anger; it just makes her behaviour worse. A fully grown man with temper problems is really no different.

I think you guys are going to be ok as long as he maintains the respect - violence is not acceptable. I’m going to say again that I think you’re an amazing wife and he’s blessed to have you. God must have brought the 2 of you together so you could help eachother. That’s beautiful.


#12

and I also remember to thank God for the great and patient secular counselor as well.


#13

also, don’t plan on any children (well that’s really up to God :D) until the 2 of you have worked things out and at least a year has gone by with things being healthy between the 2 of you.

you don’t want to bring children into this mess until is has been cleaned up :thumbsup:


#14

I’m infertile anyway which is a Godsend considering I am epileptic and he has genetic issues. So basically it is God working in mysterious ways.


#15

adoption can take several years to process, so perhaps it’s God’s will to adopt when things are better as a married couple?

btw…I have read over and over that the first years of marriage are often the most volatile.


#16

We shall see. I don’t know - He teaches children right now in a non-school setting and I am going to be teaching CCD next year. I think there are a lot of ways of molding tomorrows youth without bringing them into your home. I am not by any means downing parents - right now I just can’t wrap my mind around it.


#17

You’re absolutely right. Not everyone is called to have children.


#18

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